When Left To My Own Devices...

... I break one of them (digital camera) and I lose another (my Blackberry) to the watery depths of a Southern California reservoir. I say this for two reasons: to apologize for the crappy quality of the photos in this post (as I had to make do with the snapshot function of my video cam) and to apologize to those of you who interact with me outside this blog for not returning any phone calls or text messages lately. With that out of the way, let's rewind to the beginning.

d Wife leaves me twice a year for about 2 weeks at a time to attend tradeshows for her job. For the most part, it goes quite smoothly, for there's not much she can do for this household that I can't, and vice versa. We enjoy what you'd call a very business-trip-friendly family dynamic. However, she's been gone nearly a week now, and let's just say it only takes a few days of solo parenting for your true strengths and weaknesses to show.

Regarding Pets

It's not that I forget to feed them, I just keep forgetting the fact that we're missing the one piece of the puzzle that's usually required to complete such a task.

Dude. We do not run on photosynthesis.

But admit it, I rock at adding cool new pets to the Busy household. Meet Hisser, the hissing cockroach:

If it dies, I'll just call it "good pest control."

Of course we had to first relocate the last critter cage resident before Hisser could move his stuff in.

Meet Mother Bates, the praying mantis who laid her eggs in there and died. THREE years ago. We put a wig on her and placed her by the windowsill.

Regarding Recreational Activities

In general, I'm not very good at not enjoying beverages of the brewed and/or distilled variety. And my "d Wife on business trip" dishwasher load kind of reflects that.

I should really ease up on that creme brulee.

But my buddy Toheed the Contractor was willing to drive.

He had just refurbished this old speed boat. The risk of getting stranded would make anyone giddy.

But first, we had to stop off at his service station to wash the boat.

There's got to be an easier way to earn a Capri Sun.

And it was all good.

We planned to fish, but fishing sucks in SoCal, so rather than set him up for disappointment, we just opted to ride around, really really really fast.

When I look at this picture, two words come to mind: Jan Hammer.

Things were going great until the boat broke down. And I discovered that although we were lucky that it broke down at a dock on which we stopped to buy more beer, the boat ramp was about 100 feet away. This meant tying ropes to the boat, which meant bending over, which always means my gut likes to press the release button on my Blackberry harness, which means I should have seen it coming. But I didn't. And in slow motion it fell (heart attack), and then landed on the dock (relief), and then fell out of its protective case (oh that's fine, that's what it's for), and then bounced (lunge) and went over the edge (noooooooo...). Kerplunk.

And I still had to hand tow that sucker to the boat ramp.

I know, that's Toheed and Fury towing it. Let's just say he knows I need to abandon most things halfway in order to "blog it."While all this was happening, I was totally sucking at something else: remembering birthday parties that we had RSVP'd for. d Wife has a knack for schedules. And like a tailbone or appendix, my ability to remember key dates has rendered itself obselete in my 8 years of marriage because I just rely on her to remind me of things we need to do. I mean, I DID remember it. I just thought it was on Sunday, rather than Saturday (which doesn't work for weddings, flights, court dates and job interviews, either). So this is my apology in writing to Lolita and her son Jaden for showing up 8 hours late to the party.

Regarding Food and Dining

On the few days during the week when I'm actually lucky enough to share a meal with my family, d Wife makes it a point to turn off all electronic devices and enjoy some quality time together at the dinner table. I applaud that and totally agree. But Fury is going to grow up to be a business traveler if watching his old man has any impact on his future career choices. So I might as well get him used to eating at the bar with his laptop.

Lisa, that is not tupperware we are eating out of. It is an atmospheric anomaly, like what happens when people take pictures of "UFOs."

I also feel that in addition to his professional life, I am responsible for teaching my boy how to survive in the wild. And you can be damn sure that no son of mine is ever going to starve in the woods because he couldn't find a serving platter!

On a boat, we go by the "5-hour rule."

But this doesn't mean I won't expose him to the finer things in life, for a man's ability to appreciate classy culinary establishments from an early age is of the utmost importance when forging a true gentleman.

Because the wings are great. And I read Playboy for the articles.Regarding Awesomeness

"Hey dad, what time is it?"

"Um, it's 8:55."

"No, it's not, Dad."

"Well, look at my watch, what time does this look like to you?"

"It's time to get ill."

 Raising my boy.

I'm doing it right.